Meet the maids – and the manservant

29 Mar
Wordsworth House servants visit Dove Cottage

On holiday: The Wordsworth House servants visit Dove Cottage, former home of William and Dorothy Wordsworth

Our costumed servants enjoyed their annual day’s holiday last week, despite the wintry conditions, visiting Wordsworth’s other homes – Dove Cottage, Allan Bank and Rydal Mount – in Grasmere.

William and his sister Dorothy used to walk miles each day, come rain or shine, and the servants felt distinctly Wordsworthian as they tramped through the snow to keep their appointments.

The teams at the houses they went to were amazed that they hadn’t cancelled and stayed warm in Cockermouth – but our servants are made of sterner stuff than that. (Lovely Chris at Allan Bank even blogged about it.)

Many of our servants are seasoned travellers – and all have had interesting lives.

New maid Ruth Akers once went on a plant collecting expedition on the second highest mountain in Belize, while Helen Helm – who’s in her second year with us – has swum with penguins and seals off the Galapagos Islands.

Their line manager Alex Morgan spent two months travelling around Europe on a double decker bus with 22 other people, and Gwen Irving, another new recruit, has driven the Flying Scotsman train.

Gwen’s husband Keith – our new manservant – has a second job as Cockermouth’s town crier. Rachael Marrs and Lynne Wild, who have both been with us for several years, also have part-time jobs as a nurse and an assistant on the local newspaper.

Meanwhile, Sophia Atcha, who is also in her second year as a maid, is a talented make-up artist who worked on the film East is East, and now provides a make-up service for brides on their special day.

Sophia in the kitchen

Daily grind: Sophia hard at work in the kitchen

Helen tidying the children's bedroom

Nurse maid: Helen tidying the children’s bedroom

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